Working as a certified nurse assistant is very physically demanding. All of the lifting and bending can really take a toll on your body. You are on your feet for a large majority of your shift, which means that you will be very tired at the end of the day. It’s essential to stay fit and choose to eat healthy meals, not only for your health, but in order to keep up with the work load. It is very important to take care of yourself when you are working such a physically demanding job. You lift people regularly,often times supporting most if not all of their body weight. You also move and use heavy machinery such as lifts. The following is a great list for you to start keeping in mind while at work and in between shifts while at home.
Follow all transfer procedures correctly while using proper body mechanics is key. You don’t want to injure yourself while you are helping others. Remember that this often starts with good posture. Stand up straight and keep your back straight while standing and sitting. All of those hours sitting at the computer charting can be strenuous on your back and neck. Stretching is a great way to alleviate the tension and even energize your body!
Taking a walk or a jog outside for at least 30 minutes a day will help increase blood flow and give you a wonderful boost of endorphins. Exercise also keeps your muscles toned and strong with makes it easier for you to perform heavy lifting at work, as well as being able to withstand all of that time spent on your feet. Most of the time, if not all of your time at work is spent indoors. You miss out on all of the benefits of sunlight which is essential for humans in general. The sun not only provides us with vitamin d, it also helps our moods and keeps us feeling happy! While you are outside, take deep breaths. This will rejuvenate you and give your lungs some much needed fresh air.
Wear Protective Gear
Make sure to wear the protective gear provided for you at work, such as gloves, face masks, and pe gowns. This will prevent you from catching a virus or illness, especially in patients rooms that have a contact precaution warning sign outside the room. This also protects the patients from contacting anything from you. Often times you will come across a patient who is very susceptible to disease. This may be because they have a weakened immune-system, especially when they have just gotten out of surgery.
It’s essential to take your vitamins, especially a multivitamin. Every morning with breakfast you can take half. This way it won’t upset your stomach. Later in the day at lunch, or in the evening with dinner, take the other half. Your body craves these vitamins that we just don’t get enough of in our diets. It’s extremely inexpensive, and will save your system in the long run. When you have enough vitamins and nutrients in your system regularly, your immune system will be strong which means you will be less susceptible to catching viruses.
Instead of reaching for the coffee and soda, grab a nice tall cup of water! Your body craves this, especially while at work. Without water, you can easily develop headaches and or migraines. Drinking plenty of water will help your body stay hydrated.
Choose a Healthy Snack
Often times coworkers will fill the break room with unhealthy foods to share with everyone such as homemade cookies, cupcakes, breads, and candy. These are all foods that may seem to give you a rush at first, but you will eventually crash. Bring a protein bar or some trail mix with you in your bag. Every few hours take a few minutes to eat that healthy snack. This will keep you energized, and it won’t pack on any unwanted pounds!
Last, but certainly not least, take advantage of the perks which are provided for you at work. If you work at a facility that provides massage therapists, a massage is great for your muscles and will relax you. Some places even offer yoga classes. Even though you are there all day or night, do try to make it to those classes. They are free and can be a really fun thing for you to do with a coworker outside of the everyday scrub attire!